CRIMINAL, CIVIL, AND SUMMARY APPEALS

In Pennsylvania, there are three basic kinds of appeals in our courts (as opposed to federal): summary appeals, appeals to the Pennsylvania Superior Court (or Commonwealth Court), and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

If you have been charged with a summary offense in Pennsylvania and no other offense (e.g. misdemeanor or felony) is charged along with it, then you will be entitled to a summary trial at the local Magisterial District Court. The most frequent example of this kind of trial is for a traffic ticket. Should you not achieve the result that you desire at that lever, you do have the ability to appeal it to the Court of Common Pleas.

At the Court of Common Pleas your matter will be heard anew – de novo, as we attorneys call it. You will have a chance at discussing the matter with a representative from the District Attorney’s office and see if a deal can be reached, or if it should be tried again. Sometimes, you need to appeal the matter in order to avail yourself to some diversionary programs. If you think that you were treated unfairly at the Magisterial District Court, or simply didn’t get the result that you wanted, set up a time to talk with me to see if a summary appeal is appropriate for you.

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